Sunday, February 6, 2011
If it's white (or yellow or tan or beige) she will eat it....usually
PIZZA! The unequivocal response from E anytime I ask what she would like for dinner. It is food Numero uno for her, followed by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, followed by crackers, waffles, bagels, tortilla chips. Notice the common element? All have a common color theme. This may be why the attempts by way of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals and Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food have not worked out all that well. Many of the purees affect the color. Reaching rather high levels of frustration with the "hide it" approach, I nixed it until recently. The Canadian version of Parenting magazine suggested adding pureed white beans to pizza dough to add protein and fiber. It was a hit. Their was no impact to the taste or texture and E did not notice anything different, which she normally does. I have since made the recipe with half white beans and half lentils to the same effect. I still have to experiment with adding some whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, but one step at a time. Here is the recipe:
Pizza Dough with Pureed White Beans
* 1 cup canned or cooked white (navy or kidney) beans, rinsed and drained; OR
1/2 cup white beans, 1/2 cup lentils
* 1 cup warm water, divided
* 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1 teaspoon sugar, honey or maple syrup
* 3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
* 2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (we go with less)
1. Put half the water into a large bowl and sprinkle with the yeast and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes until foamy.
2. Put beans and the other half cup of water into food processor; pulse until smooth. Stir into the yeast mixture and then add 2 cups flour, oil and salt. Add more flour until it is too stiff to stir, then turn onto floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, not sticky. Takes about 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you are lazy like me, I add the yeast/water mix, all the flour, oil and salt into my (14 cup) food processor with the beans, and pulse until combined, then let the blade work the dough for about 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Return to (or place) in large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise about an hour. I have found a 2 to 3 hour rise is ideal for better taste.
4. Divide dough in half. There should be enough for 2 10-inch pizzas, or 2 thinner crust 12-inch pizzas. Unused dough can be covered and refrigerated for a day, or wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature before using.
There were no specific instructions for baking the crust. This is what I do for the best results:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Roll out crust either on floured surface, or oil your hands and use them to spread the crust out in a pizza pan. Prick with a fork all over (to avoid air bubbles)
3. Bake in oven about 10 minutes. Remove. At this point, you can refrigerate the parbaked crust for a day or two, or add sauce and other toppings. We typically go simple with a light sprinkle of mozzarella, a sprinkly of marjoram or oregano, and sometimes turkey pepperoni (the current protein of E's choice).
4. Put back in oven and bake another 10 minutes; more if you like cheese on the crisp, bubbly side.
5. Let cool a few minutes, then slice and serve.